Amateur Radio Field Day Weekend

Huntington Beach Hospital (HBH)
June 25-26, 2016

Photos by Joe Moell KØOV
except as noted



This is the fifteenth year of HDSCS Field Day (FD) at Huntington Beach Hospital (HBH), one of our supported facilities.  Our main stations were set up on tables in "surge capacity" tents, which Orange County hospitals have ready for deployment when they need additional space for patient care during pandemics, etc.  There were lights for overnight operation and cots for those who needed some shuteye.  The hospital also provided sandwiches and snacks.


Setup began on Friday afternoon.  Field Day requires lots of wires for power and antennas.  Getting those wires in place is one of the first jobs.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH and Dave Reinhard KJ6REP (on the portico roof) attached two antennas to the hospital's holiday decoration mast.

There were three yagi antennas on a rotor for our VHF/UHF FD station.  They were placed atop the adjacent hospital roof.

Our "Get On The Air" (GOTA) station for training newcomers was in a small decontamination tent on the hospital front lawn.  Justin Ennen AI6CI is helping loft the long wire antenna.

In accordance with nationwide rules, on-air operations commenced at 11 AM PST on Saturday.  At HF Station #1 for the start was Ken Simpson W6KOS (nearest camera).  Logging contacts for him was Justin Ennen AI6CI.

To correctly log and score hundreds of contacts, it takes a networked computer at each station.  Computers and network hardware were provided by Rick Soikkeli N6NH, who is shown here operating with Morse Code at HF Station #2.

At the "bonus" VHF/UHF station, Justin Miller KI6AFZ looked for contacts on the six and two-meter bands as Field Day began.

Justin Ennen AI6CI (farthest from camera) was in charge of our GOTA station in the decontamination tent.  He's helping Gregory Landers KE6DAN make contacts as Mike Sussman KE0HUF watches and learns.

The hospital graciously provides sandwiches and drinks in a breakroom for lunch on Saturday.  Most operators didn't want to take a break, so Rebecca Katzen KI6OEM (at right) fetched lunches and brought them out on a cart, helped by visitor Michelle Wagner.

Numerous visitors dropped by throughout the day to see our operations.  Our displays showed them what FD and HDSCS are all about.  On Saturday afternoon, Stephen Noriega of Prime Healthcare Services (at right) and his brother Nicholas (at left) of the San Bernardino County Fire Department learned about Amateur Radio support for hospitals from April Moell WA6OPS.

Steve and April reviewed our safety plans and procedures with Tim Beringer KI6RVS (center), our event's Safety Officer.

This unusual antenna set is for making contacts through orbiting satellites that have been built by ham radio operators.  The long beam antennas are on a special portable azimuth/elevation mount held upright by an old tire.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH aimed the antenna at the satellites passing overhead as Joe Moell KØOV made contacts.  Each "pass" lasted less than 20 minutes.

Satellite operations always attract lots of attention.  We had lots of it because nine satellites were available to us in 2016, compared with only four the year before.

It's time to refuel.  Huntington Beach Hospital takes advantage of Field Day to test its two portable generators.  We placed them next to the south wall of the facility to reduce noise.  Tim Beringer KI6RVS supervises for safety as Tom Gaccione WB2LRH adds more gasoline.

Lily Medina and Monique Beringer KI6RVT were operating the GOTA station around suppertime.  (Photo by Tim Beringer KI6RVS)

Monique Beringer KI6RVT baked her traditional chocolate cake, which was quickly consumed, along with the traditional pizza.

Woody Woodward W6PA kept Station #1 going after supper.

Justin Ennin watched over the GOTA station through the evening hours, putting visitor Scott Avent KK6HS on the air. 

Operating into the wee hours at HF Station #2 was Rick Soikkeli N6NH.  This station operated in Morse mode all night, with Joe Moell KØOV (not pictured) taking over for him in the middle of the night.  In the Field Day rules, contacts in Morse Code (CW) have twice the point value of voice contacts.

Sam Stratton W5ASX arrived in the early morning to take over HF Station #1.

Dave Reinhard KJ6REP operated the VHF station at breakfast time, hoping for a six-meter opening that never happened.

As the sun got higher on Sunday Tom Hall N6DGK set up his solar-power station.  Field Day rules provide bonus points for contacts made via "natural power" such as solar or wind.  Tom Gaccione WB2LRH is at the mike.

This board shows some of the places that we contacted on Field Day this year.

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This page updated 7 July 2016